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Dudek out of retirement to reach Poland landmark

Published: Wednesday 5 June 2013, 10.06CET
Jerzy Dudek said he "will never forget this day" after coming out of retirement to feature for Poland for the 60th and final time to earn a place in the country's footballing hall of fame.
by Piotr Koźmiński

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Published: Wednesday 5 June 2013, 10.06CET

Dudek out of retirement to reach Poland landmark

Jerzy Dudek said he "will never forget this day" after coming out of retirement to feature for Poland for the 60th and final time to earn a place in the country's footballing hall of fame.

Jerzy Dudek donned the Poland goalkeeper's jersey for the final time on Tuesday as Waldemar Fornalik's side defeated Liechtenstein 2-0 in a friendly.

The 40-year-old – who had not played professionally since turning out for his Real Madrid CF swansong in May 2011 – was invited to come out of retirement by the Polish Football Federation (PZPN) in order to win his 60th cap, the number required to be inducted into Poland's hall of fame.

Over 1,300 days since his last appearance for the national team, a 1-0 home defeat by Slovakia in October 2009, Dudek was substituted after 34 minutes to a standing ovation from the National Stadium crowd in Chorzow.

Poland won the match, a warm-up for Friday's encounter with Moldova in FIFA World Cup qualifying Group H, thanks to second-half goals from Artur Sobiech and Maciej Rybus.

"It was a big thing for me," said the former Feyenoord and Liverpool FC player, who saved two penalties for the latter in the Reds' 2005 UEFA Champions League final shoot-out victory against AC Milan. 

"When Zbigniew Boniek [PZPN president] told me some months ago that he would love to see me in such a match, I said 'yes', because the national team always meant so much to me. This game also allowed me to join the hall of fame, which means a lot. I will never forget this day."

Last updated: 04/12/13 4.43CET

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